News

  • Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba today held a meeting with Municipal Commissioners, District Magistrates of 13 COVID-19 hit cities to take a review of the situation.

  • Women peacekeepers from India and Brazil have jointly won the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year 2019 Award.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today formally launched the facility for instant allotment of PAN on near to real time basis.

  • The recovery rate of people affected with COVID-19 has improved further and it haw now reached 42.75 per cent.

  • Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Dr K Vijay Raghavan has said around 30 groups in the country from big industry to individual academics, are trying to develop vaccines to fight COVID-19.

  • Amidst a wave of locust swarms sweeping across western and northwestern India, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has stepped up locust control operations in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

  • Evacuation of distressed and stranded Indians has begin through land route under Vande Bharat Mission.

  • Security Forces today averted a major incident of a vehicle-borne IED blast in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • A total 9.67 crore farmers have been benefited and an amount of more than 19 thousand crore rupees has been released under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme during the last two months.

  • In Jharkhand, three hardcore naxals of Peoples Liberation Front of India, PLFI have been killed today in an ongoing encounter with police forces in Manmaru forest and Kentai hills of Podeyahaat area coming under Tabo police station of West Singhbhum district.

  • In West Bengal, Domestic Flight operations from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata began this morning.

  • Karnataka government will soon launch a project to maintain the health database of all its citizens. A first of its kind initiative State Health Register will be a robust and standardized health repository of all the citizens.

  • In his address, Ram Vilas Paswan lauded the role of FCI during the lockdown and said food grain movement has been at an all-time high.

    He said FCI workforce have emerged as Food Warriors at the time of global pandemic crisis and they turned this challenge into an opportunity.

    FCI has undertaken record loading, unloading and transportation of food grains during the lockdown period.

    On the other hand, procurement also continued without disruptions and the wheat procurement by government agencies this year surpassed the last year’s figures.

    The Minister also took stock of the distribution of food grains in the states and UTs during the review meeting.
     

     

    Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package

     

    While reviewing the allocation of food grains under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package for Migrants/Stranded Migrants, Ram Vilas Paswan said that the Government of India has made allocation of 8.00 LMT food grains (2.44 LMT wheat and 5.56 LMT Rice) to 37 State/UTs for the months of May and June 2020.  According to FCI, against this allocation, up to 27.05.2020, 2.06 LMT food grains have been lifted by the States/UTs. Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep have lifted the entire allocation foe two months. The Minister directed the FCI to coordinate with the State/UT Governments and expedite the lifting of food grains.

     

    Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

     

    Under this scheme, Government has made allocation of 120.04 LMT food grain (15.65 LMT wheat and 104.4 LMT Rice) to 37 State/UTs for the months of April, May and June 2020. While reviewing this scheme Shri Paswan asked the concerned officials to coordinate with State/UTs Government to expedite the lifting, so that the food grains reach the beneficiary in time. FCI informed, against the PMGKAY allocation, up to 27.05.2020,  95.80 LMT food grain (15.6 LMT wheat and 83.38 LMT Rice) have been lifted by the States/UTs.

     

    Sale of food grain to Charitable / NGO under OMSS(D) without e-auction

     

    As per the instructions of Government of India, up to 25.05.2020, FCI informed that it has approved sale of 1179 MT wheat to 186 organisations and 8496 MT rice to 890 organizations against which 886 MT wheat & 7778 MT rice have been lifted by these organizations.

     

    Amphan Cyclone in West Bengal and Odisha

    As per FCI, West Bengal Government has requested 11,800 MT rice stock under OMSS (D) sale without e-auction @Rs.2250/- per qtl, but no requirement of food grains has been intimated by the Odisha Government till date. Shri Paswan said that the FCI should coordinate with the State Governments of West Bengal and Odisha and appraise the latest status of food grains in the Cyclone hit states.

     

    Procurement (Rice/Wheat)

     

    In the review meeting the minister reviewed the sale of wheat in RMS 2020-21 and procurement rice in KMS 2019-20. As the procurement of wheat is already ahead of its last year's procurement quantity, the minister asked FCI to update the further wheat (RMS 2020-21) and rice (KMS 20-21) procurement. According to FCI as on 27.5.2020, total 351 LMT wheat (RMS20-21) has been procured.  60.40 LMT rice (RMS) has been procured. Total 700.29 LMT paddy  (including 470.23 LMT rice) has been procured in 2019-20.

     

    Movement of food grains

     

    Since the lockdown, food grains have been lifted and transported across the country including North Eastern States though roads, railways, waterways and by air in difficult and hilly areas. About 100 LT food grains have been transported through 3550 rail rakes. 12 LT food grains have been transported through roads and 12,000 Tonnes of food grains was transported through 12 ships. Total 9.61 LMT food grains have been transported to North Eastern states.

     

    Stocks in Central Pool

     

    FCI informed about the current stock position of food grains as on 27.05.2020. Officials said 479.40 LMT wheat & 272.29 LMT rice, total 751.69 LMT food grain are available in the Central Pool. Expressing satisfaction at the stock position to meet the country's present and future need of food grains, Shri Paswan pledged the government's all-out support to FCI officers and workers who have been toiling hard during this period of crisis.

  • This was decided at a recent meeting of  Secretaries via videoconferencing ,  of partner ministries under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme  of the Government . 

    The meeting was chaired by  Secretary, Higher Education, M/o HRD, Shri Amit Khare. M/o HRD  is the nodal ministry for the EBSB programme. The meeting was attended by Secretary, Tourism Shri Yogendra Tripathi; Secretary Culture, Shri Anand Kumar; Secretary Department of Youth Affairs, Smt Usha Sharma; Secretary, SE & L Smt Anita Karwal; CEO, MyGov Shri Abhishek Singh and senior officers of  ministries of I & B, Railways, Home , Defence , Parliamentary Affairs and department of Sports.

    Welcoming the participants, Shri Amit Khare  briefed about the implementation of the programme so far, stressing on the need to have innovative ways to carry it forward in view of the prevailing conditions of COVID 19.

    Secretary D/o SEL, Smt. Anita Karwal also emphasized upon the need to show tangible outputs.

    During the meeting a presentation was made on the progress of EBSB so far.

    Speaking at the meeting, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Yogendra Tripathi informed that institutions under Tourism ministry are organising webinars on various aspects of tourism.

    The ministry is doing a series of webinars under the series "Dekho Apna Desh", being hosted on MyGov portal. These webinars are being attended by thousands of people.

     He also suggested that such webinars can be organised for tourism stake holders of different states such as Tour Operators etc. Secretary, Higher Education suggested that the recordings of “Dekho Apna Desh” and other webinars can be displayed on the educational channels and in breaks during online classes.

    Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Shri Anand Kumar stated that they are also organising various webinars. He suggested all webinars of different Ministries should be brought under a common platform of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

    He further suggested that e- programmes can be prepared on various topics such as writing dramas, paintings , virtual tours of monuments, etc He further informed that the Culture Ministry proposes to develop  E- Heritagepedia and E- Artist pedia and also suggested that renowned artists can do virtual programme modules to teach their art. Secretary D/o SEL  welcomed the idea and said that schools would be very interested in classes on indigenous art like Worli and Madhubani paintings.

    Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs, Smt. Usha Sharma appreciated the use of digital medium for conducting the EBSB programmes. She said with this, the reach of these programmes can be enhanced greatly.  She also suggested for sharing of digital material prepared by different departments. Secretary, HE suggested that the inputs may be collected from all the Ministries at a single platform. Secretary, D/O SEL suggested they could be hosted on a digital platform.      

    CEO, My Gov.in, Shri Abhishek Singh said that they are developing a mobile App for learning 100 sentences in different languages. He also said that MyGov can host webinars of various departments and also disseminate information about their programmes.  

    Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Shri Vikram Sahai suggested that apart from the information of various states being shared through TV, Radio and Print Media, good practices and success stories of each state may also be shared with the partner states. He also suggested all departments can pool in their digital resources and DD News can use their weekly EBSB programme to host destination based programmes. JS (ICC), Ms Neeta Prasad suggested that each Ministry should share their future monthly action plan in advance with Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for wider coverage.

     Executive Director, Ministry of Railways Smt. Vandana Bhatnagar,  briefed about the steps taken by them for providing concessions to the students participating in various EBSB programmes and on displaying the logo, Video display etc on railways property. She said that these activities will be up taken afresh once regular movement of  trains start.

     

    The officers of  Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence,  Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Department of Sports briefed about the activities taken up prior to the lockdown period and activities proposed to be started.  

    At the end of the meeting, Secretary, HE summarised important actionable points as follows:

    1. To move towards digital mediums for the carrying on the activities under EBSB by each participating Ministry/ Department.
    2. To organise webinars on Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat themes for their wide dissemination.
    3. To have a common repository for the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat digital resources that can be used by every Ministry. This repository may be hosted on a common portal.

    iv        A revised communication plan needs to be made and Doordarshan's 30 minute weekly programme on EBSB  should be destination based with inputs from all ministries

  • On vaccines, it was pointed out that the process is usually slow and fraught with uncertainties. But, in order to succeed against COVID-19 a large number of parallel efforts are needed.

    This is being done globally and nationally. Indian academia and start-ups are working on vaccine candidates in the very strong Indian vaccine industry. There are three kinds of attempts being made.

    The first are indigenous efforts. The second are globally collaborative efforts where Indian organisations are taking a lead role and the third is Indian participation in global efforts.

    With such a large portfolio, followed by efforts at risk- mitigation for manufacturing and stockpiling, success is better assured.

    On drug discovery, our scientific efforts take three approaches. The first is the repurposing of extant drugs to see how effective they are against the virus and in mitigating the consequences of the disease.

    Second, Phyto-pharmaceuticals and extracts from medicinal plants are being tested. Finally, using a variety of approaches, new drug discovery including a ‘Hackathon’ for computational drug discovery is being undertaken.

    A conglomeration of research efforts have resulted in new tests and testing kits. These include new tests for detection of the virus and also for antibody detection. The latter are being used for serological studies,

    The speed of these developments is made possible by the collaborative efforts of our scientists, institutions and science agencies. The regulatory system has also been closely engaged, combining speed with quality.

  • The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur, Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India; Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Finance Secretary/Secretary, Department of Revenue; Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs; Debasish Panda, Secretary, Department of Financial Services; Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs; Dr. Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser; Ajay Tyagi, Chairperson, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI); Subhash Chandra Khuntia, Chairperson, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI); Supratim Bandyopadhyay, Chairperson, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA); and Dr. M. S. Sahoo, Chairperson, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) and other senior officers of the Government of India and Financial Sector Regulators.

    The meeting reviewed the current global and domestic macro-economic situation, financial stability and vulnerabilities issues, major issues likely to be faced by banks and other financial institutions as also regulatory and policy responses, Liquidity / Solvency of NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs and other related issues. Besides, market volatility, domestic resource mobilisation and capital flows issues were also discussed by the Council.

    The Council noted that the COVID-19 Pandemic crisis poses a serious threat to the stability of the global financial system as the ultimate impact of the crisis and the timing of recovery, is uncertain at this point of time.

    While, decisive monetary and fiscal policy actions aimed at containing the fallout from the pandemic, have stabilised investor sentiment in the short-run, there is a need to keep a continuous vigil by Government and all regulators on the financial conditions that could expose financial vulnerabilities in the medium and long-term.

    The efforts of the Government and regulators are focused on avoiding a prolonged period of dislocation in financial markets.

     The Council took note of the initiatives taken by the Government and the regulators in the recent months to help revive the economy. 

    Government and the RBI have announced various fiscal and monetary measures to pre-emptively limit the economic damage and would continue to address the liquidity and capital requirements of the financial institutions.

    The Council also reviewed the action taken by members on the decision taken by FSDC earlier.

     

    1. Resource Management and Administration

    Augmentation of Medical Infrastructure: Availability of medical infrastructure is ensured (as on April 15, 2020) including 1,577 PPE kits; 13,348 masks N-95; 66,076 three-layer masks; 1,873 litre of sanitizers; 434 VTM; 2,580 sodium hydrochloride; 295,805 gloves; 05 thermal scanners; 125 no. of isolation wards for COVID patients; 1,000 additional beds for quarantine; 92 D type & 36 B type oxygen cylinder availability and 50 functional ventilators.

     

    Manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs): PPEs are the most essential equipment for the doctors and frontline workers for combating COVID-19 pandemic. In PPE kit manufacturing plant, more than 300 kits are manufactured every day.

    Masks are produced by Self Help Groups: More than 65,000 total masks are produced; on an average 4,000 are produced each day; more than 250 self-help group members are involved; and about 52,000 masks have been sold till date.

    Quarantine Facilities: Karnal City has capacity of 3,396 beds for COVID patients – this include 1,632 Government buildings; 1,224 Dharamshala; and 540 hotels. Out of 1,000 identified beds – 43 citizens are quarantine in Government building and 914 are home quarantined. Further, patients under home quarantined are monitored through cell tower location by police.

     

    Karnal Live Tracker App: An app has been developed to track citizens who are home quarantined. There is a simple process to get registered on app and post registration – a citizen has to report six times with a gap of two hours in a day start from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm; next step is to upload latest photo and record their body temperature. Also, by giving access to the current location, latitude and longitude of citizen are captured. The app offers features like tele counselling to ensure upkeep of mental health of the citizen.

    Testing Lab: Kalpana Chawla Government Hospital in collaboration with district administration has adopted a resourceful approach to setup COVID-19 testing lab. A lab has a capacity of testing 150 samples each day.

    Sample Collection Kiosk: The kiosk is manufactured locally to ensure protection of the doctors/staff involved in sample collection. It is much safer, faster and more efficient collection of COVID-19 test samples.

     

    1. Food and Relief Measures

    Shelter Homes for Migrant Labourers: The total number of displaced migrant workers in Karnal is 784, who are residing in 7 shelter homes across the district. The district administration in collaboration with NGOs has been successful in providing shelter, food, basic essentials and medical facilities to the migrant labourers working in Karnal and those from other districts willing to cross. Administration collaborated with Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan to provide the necessities for a comfortable stay. Emphasis was given on the following measures – lodging; food; hygiene kit; personal commodities; medical assistance; police assistance; and other essentials.

    Adopt a Family Initiative: A Corona Relief Fund was started at the district level, to ensure that dry ration can be delivered to daily wage workers. These vulnerable & needy families were identified by a screening method and by self-reporting at district helpline 1950. Families are being provided a packet of dry ration – rice, atta, cooking oil, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking masala, haldi and soap. Till date, approx. 70 lakh rupees have been donated, which means that approx. 14,000 poorest families will be taken care throughout the district.

    Dry Ration distribution: District Administration is providing dry ration to daily wage workers who are not covered under PDS or any other Government scheme. Shri Krishna Parnami School, Karnal has been converted into a donation center to maintain stocks of all the essentials. About 2,440 packets have been distributed and 4,160 packets are in stock at the center. The cost of one packet of weekly dry ration is approx. 475 rupees.

    Cooked Meals Distribution: Out of 15 lakh population, approx. 5 lakh belongs to unorganized sector. A collaboration with ‘Nirmal Kutia’ (a gurudwara) and district administration Karnal created a sustainable model for successfully dealing with the hunger crisis. Meal is served at 97 identified locations each day.

    Doorstep delivery of Essentials: a) Online delivery – (i) Facilitated linkage of kirana shops and dairies with online platforms; (ii) Collaboration with Needs on Wheels (NOW); (iii) more than 10,000 orders have been delivered successfully b) Localized delivery – (i) localized delivery of essentials effectively implemented; (ii) vendor designated by district administration.

     

    1. Precautionary Measures & Citizen Outreach

    Lockdown Enforcement: Complete lockdown was imposed due to COVID-19 by the district administration and district police helped in its implementation.

    Accessibility for emergency services: Movement passes issued online for ensuring mobility for essential and emergency services and  per day approvals are limited to ensure social distancing.

    24*7 Helpline Numbers

     

  • On the occasion Shri Heeralal Samariya, Secretary, Labour and Employmnet and DPS Negi, SLEA & Director General Labour Bureau were also present.

    The Minister tweeted that this handle will be a regular & updated source of snapshot on Indian Labour Market Indicators.

    Labour Bureau, an attached Office of Ministry of Labour and Employment has been collecting and disseminating information on various facets of labour like wages, earnings, productivity, absenteeism, labour turn-over, industrial relations, working and living conditions and evaluation of working of various labour enactments etc.

    The information disseminated by the Labour Bureau plays an important role for advising Government for formulation and implementation of employment policies and procedures in the country.

    Labour Bureau has a mandate of compilation & maintenance of Index Numbers, conducting surveys for collection of statistics in the field of Labour and collection, compilation and dissemination of Administrative Labour Statistics.

    Labour Bureau is engaged in Labour Force Surveys & Enterprise Surveys which primarily provide estimates of indicators related to Labour Force.

    Labour Bureau was established in 1946. The two main wings of the Labour Bureau are at Chandigarh and at Shimla. It has five Regional Offices, one each at Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Kolkata, Guwahati and Chennai with a Sub-Regional Office in Mumbai.

    Headed by Director General, an Additional Secretary level Officer from the Indian Economic Service (IES), with a team of professionals from the Indian Economic Service and Indian Statistical Service.

  • In a gazette notification issued by the Public Administration department of the government, it was announced that all government, semi-government, autonomous and private offices will open in a limited manner under their own management from May 31.

    It exempted vulnerable people, sick employees and pregnant women from attending office. It also instructed that all meetings should be conducted through virtual methods.

    The government also allowed restricted opening of the public transport services like buses, trains and ferries with limited number of passengers who have been directed to wear protective masks.

    The operators have been instructed to strictly follow the health directives issued by the government to contain the spread of Corona virus.

    The intercity trains will also start running from May 31 to June 15 through sale of 50 percent of tickets to maintain social distancing.

    The civil aviation authority announced on Thursday that domestic flights on some routes will resume on a limited scale from June 1 but the embargo on international flights will continue till June 15.

    The government would consider opening all the domestic routes after June 15.  

    However, the educational institutions will continue to remain closed.

    The ‘general holidays’ leading to shut down of most of the services in the country had started from March 26. Later in April some sectors like Ready Made Garment Factories, Small and Medium enterprises, shops and malls were allowed to open on a restricted scale.

    In the meanwhile, Bangladesh recorded 2029 new cases of Corona virus infection in the country over the last 24 hours since Wednesday.

    The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in its virtual briefing on Thursday announced that the total number of people infected in the country has gone up to 40321.

    During the same period 15 more people died due to Corona taking the death toll to 559. The number of recovered people also increased to 8525 with 500 more people recovering over the same period.

    The first Corona positive case in Bangladesh was reported on March 8, while the first death due to Corona took place on March 18.

  • The signatories to the Maharashtra State Road Improvement Project were Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance who signed for the Government of India, and Mr Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission who signed for ADB.

    After signing the loan agreement, Shri Khare said that the project will improve connectivity between rural areas and urban centers in the state enabling rural communities to better access markets, employment opportunities and services. Improved mobility will expand development and livelihood opportunities outside of the state’s major urban centers to second-tier cities and towns thus reducing income disparities.

    Yokoyama said that the project will also strengthen road safety measures by developing a road safety audit framework that will protect vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, and children, following the international best practice.

    Giving more details, Mr. Yokoyama said that another feature of the project is to update road maintenance system by encouraging 5-year performance-based maintenance obligations to contractors to sustain asset quality and service levels.

    Overall the project will upgrade 2 major district roads and 11 state highways, with combined length of 450 km, to 2-lane standard across seven districts of Maharashtra, and improve connectivity to national highways, interstate roads, seaports, airports, rail hubs, district headquarters, industrial areas, enterprise clusters and agricultural areas.

    The project will also focus on training the Maharashtra Public Works Department project staff to build their capacity in climate change adaptation and disaster resilient features in road design, road maintenance planning and road safety.

    ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

  • This facility is now available for those PAN applicants who possess a valid Aadhaar number and have a mobile number registered with Aadhaar. The allotment process is paperless and an electronic PAN (e-PAN) is issued to the applicants free of cost.

    It may be recalled that in the Union Budget, 2020, Finance Minister Smt. Sitharaman had announced to launch instant PAN facility shortly. In para 129 of the Budget Speech, the Finance Minister had stated, In the last Budget, I had introduced the interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar for which necessary rules were already notified.

    In order to further ease the process of allotment of PAN, soon we will launch a system under which PAN shall be instantly allotted online on the basis of Aadhaar without any requirement for filling up of detailed application form.”

    The facility of instant PAN through Aadhaar based e-KYC has been launched formally today, however, its ‘Beta version’ on trial basis was started on 12th Feb 2020 on the e-filing website of Income Tax Department.

    Since then onwards, 6,77,680 instant PANs have been allotted with a turnaround time of about 10 minutes, till 25th May 2020.

    It may also be noted that as on 25.05.2020, a total of 50.52 crore PANs have been allotted to the taxpayers, out of which, around 49.39 crore are allotted to the individuals and more than 32.17crore are seeded with Aadhaar so far.

    The process of applying for instant PAN is very simple. The instant PAN applicant is required to access the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department to provide her/his valid Aadhaar number and then submit the OTP received on her/his Aadhaar registered mobile number. On successful completion of this process, a 15-digit acknowledgment number is generated.

    If required, the applicant can check the status of the request anytime by providing her/his valid Aadhaar number and on successful allotment, can download the e-PAN.

    The e-PAN is also sent to the applicant on her/his email id, if it is registered with Aadhaar.

    The launch of the Instant PAN facility is yet another step by the Income Tax Department towards Digital India, thereby creating further ease of compliance to the taxpayers.

  • According to the Ministry of Health and Population a 56 year old man died of corona virus from Lalitpur district.

    The Ministry spokesperson said 156 more persons tested positive today for COVID-19 taking total number to 1042.

    This is the highest number of positive cases reported in a single day. There is a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases in Nepal.

    In last four days more than 400 persons diagnosed with corona virus. There are now 850 active cases, while 187 people have been recovered.

    Five persons have died of COVID-19 so far. Out of 77 districts 51 have reported corona virus infection.

    Province 1, 2 and 5 are the most affected by the COVID-19. Province 2 reported maximum 415 cases followed by Province 5 with 369 cases and Province 1 having 129 cases.

    • Advance of Southwest Monsoon

      • With the strengthening of westerlies and increase in convective clouds, the southwest Monsoon has further advanced into some parts of Maldives-Comorin area, some more parts of south Bay of Bengal, remaining parts of Andaman Sea and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
      •  The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) now passes through Lat.5°N/Long.72°E, Lat.6°N/Long.79°E, Lat.8°N/Long.86°E, Lat.11°N/Long.90°E, Lat.14°N/Long.93°E and Lat.16°N/Long.95°E.

       

      Further advance of Monsoon during next 5 days

      • Conditions are becoming favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of Maldives-Comorin area during next 48 hours.
      •  A Low Pressure Area is likely to form over southeast & adjoining eastcentral Arabian Sea during 31st May to 4th June, 2020. In view of this, conditions are very likely to become favourable from 1st June 2020 for onset of southwest Monsoon over Kerala.

      Low Pressure Area over westcentral Arabian Sea

      • A low pressure area has formed over westcentral Arabian Sea. It is very likely to concentrate into a Depression over the same region during next 48 hours. It is very likely to move northwestwards towards south Oman & east Yemen coast during next 3 days.

      Fisherman warning

      • Fishermen are advised not to venture into westcentral Arabian Sea during 29th May, 2020 to 1st June, 2020.
      •  Fishermen are also advised not to venture into southeast & eastcentral Arabian Sea during 31st May, 2020 to 4th June, 2020.

      Meanwhile,

      ♦ Under the influence of a Western Disturbance and an east-west trough in lower tropospheric levels, rain/thunderstorm accompanied with lightning, hail & squall at isolated places very likely over Western Himalaya Region & adjoining plains during 28th-30th May,.2020.

      As a result, maximum temperatures over plains of north India and central & west India very likely to fall by 3-4°C during next 3-4 days. Hence the prevailing heat wave conditions are very likely to occur at isolated pockets of northwest & central India on today and abate thereafter.

      ♦ Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Tripura and Mizoram during next 24hours and Heavy rainfall over Assam & Meghalaya. Heavy rainfall at isolated places over parts of south peninsular India during 28th-31st May, 2020 with isolated Heavy to Very Heavy Rainfall over Kerala and Lakshadweep during 30th-31st May 2020.

    • EXIM Bank of India was the Institutional Partner for the Summit.

      Addressing the Summit, Piyush Goyalsaid that the future of growth lay with industry and the private sector, with the government having a lesser role to play.

      The Union Minister inister identified three important ways to increase India’s exports:  reviving manufacturing, diversifying the exports basket, and finding newer and more accepting markets.

      He emphasised that the diversification of exports, in addition to consolidating current areas of strength, is necessary for our economy to grow.

      He stated that India has a huge opportunity to promote indigenous production in auto component sector, furniture, air conditioners, and others.

      He said that MeitY is promoting electronics production, in pharma we are encouraging API manufacturing, and in the agri export sector the opportunity is huge.

      He said that in the IT related service, the world recognizes the Indian expertise and prowess, and hence we have asked the NASSCOM to target for $500 billion export in the sector in next five years.

      AatmaNirbhar Bharat, he said, is not just about greater self-reliance, but also engaging with the world from a position of strength.

      He said that India should be seen as a dependable partner and reliable friend in the world market, particularly when the global supply chains are undergoing rejig.

      Talking about the Prime Minister’s vision to make India self-reliant, Piyush Goyal said that we should talk from the position of strength, be competitive, and provide quality products to the world.

      There should be killer instinct in us to succeed. No crisis can stop our march, if there is willingness to take on the challenges head-on.

       Shri Goyal congratulated CII on completing 125 years and the launch of the Taskforce on Enhancing Exports through integration into the Global Value Chains (GVCs).

      He committed to working closely with the Taskforce and take action where necessary for the benefit of industry, and the country.

      He assured the exporting community that the Government, whether the union or states, are there to provide full support and are willing to work in partnership.

      He said that the country has skilled workforce, and world class institutions like Universities and research labs, and let us work for the well-being of 130 crore people of India.

      Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said that we must carry out all reforms necessary to overhaul our exports and this is the right time to roll them out.

      Trade logistics, compliance with quality standards, seamless functioning of GVCs, and a robust strategy to leverage FTAs would be key, he said.

    • The changed name has been registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act 1975 ( Tamil Nadu Act 27 of 1975)

      Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda has said  that now CIPET will be in a position to fully devote itself  for the growth of entire petrochemical sector with a focus on Academics, Skilling, Technology Support and Research. 

      The primary objective of CIPET has been contributing towards the growth of the plastics industry through a combined program of education and research.

      The Institute has evolved through the years, creating closer ties with industries with the intent to create innovative plastic based solutions which are resource efficient and marketable.

    • Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories concerned attended the meeting.

      The meeting bears significance as these 13 cities are considered to be the worst Coronavirus affected locations and constitute about 70 per cent of the positive cases in the country.

      The 13 focus cities are Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi / New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata / Howrah, Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur (Tamil Nadu).

      The measures taken by the officials and the staff of the municipal corporations for the management of COVID-19 cases were reviewed in the meeting.

      The central government has already issued guidelines on management of COVID-19 in urban settlements.

      Highlights of this strategy include work on high risk factors, indices such as confirmation rate, fatality rate, doubling rate, tests per million people etc.

      Centre has stressed that containment zones are to be geographically defined based on factors like mapping of cases and contacts and their geographical dispersion. This would enable in demarcating a well defined perimeter and enforcing the strict protocol of lockdown.

      Municipal corporations can decide if residential colonies, mohallas, municipal wards or police-station areas, municipal zones, towns can be designated as containment zones, as required.

      The cities were advised that the area should be appropriately defined by the district administration and local urban body with technical inputs from local level.

    • Policy initiatives including revised Tariff Policy and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 to redress the problems afflicting the power sector were discussed.

      Prime Minister emphasized the need to enhance consumer satisfaction while increasing operational efficiency, and improving financial sustainability of the power sector.

      He pointed out that the problems in the power sector, especially of the electricity distribution segment, vary across regions and states.

      Instead of looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, the Ministry should put in place state-specific solutions to incentivize each state to improve its performance.

      He advised the Ministry of Power to ensure that the DISCOMs publish their performance parameters periodically so that the people know how their DISCOMs fare in comparison to the peers.

      He also emphasized that equiement usages in power sector to be make in India.

      Regarding New and Renewable Energy, Prime Minister emphasized the need for wholistic approach for entire supply chain of the Agriculture Sector ranging from solar water pumps to decentralized solar cold storages.

      He also emphasized for innovative model for rooftop solar and desired that each State should have atleast one city (either a capital city or any renowned tourist destination) to have fully solar city through rooftop solar power generation.

      Emphasize was also made on ecosystem development for manufacturing of ingots, wafers, cells and modules in India, which would also help generate employment in addition to various other advantages.

      Prime Minister also desired to expedite the plan for carbon neutral Ladakh and emphasized for drinking water supply in coastal areas by harnessing the solar and wind energy.

    • An improvised explosive device (IED) recovered from a car in Ayengund area of Rajpora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district was defused by the personnel of the bomb disposal squad this morning.        

      The white coloured car was flagged by security forces at a mobile vehicle check point but the driver of the vehicle sped away prompting the security forces to fire few shots at the vehicle which they found abandoned some distance away.

      IG Police, Vijay Kumar congratulated the security forces for this success. He said in a briefing that Pulwama police received a credible information yesterday that a terrorist was moving with an explosive laden car. He informed that car was carrying about 45 kgs of Ammonium Nitrate explosive.

      In a joint operation of Army, J&K Police and CRPF, the security forces blasted the vehicle and subsequently averted a major catastrophe that could have arisen out of the vehicle-borne IED blast.

    • The encounter operation with the police forces is still ongoing in the forest area.

      Earlier, yesterday two maoists including Zonal Commander of PLFI Sachit Singh were arrested by Simdega police in a planned operation by the security forces.

      SP Simdega Sanjeev Kumar informed in a press conference about the arrest of PLFI commander with INSAS weapon and arms.

      Jaladega and Kolebira police station in-charges had conducted raids based on information and were successful in arresting the alleged Maoists.

      SP Simdega informed that there was reward of Rs Two lakhs announced on the arrested PLFI Maoist. Around 31 cases under Arms Act and several cases of murder, levy and extortion have been registered in various police stations on his name.

    • Government said, 4.57 lakh metric tonnes of pulses have been dispatched to the States and Union Territories under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PM-GKY).

      Out of this, 1.78 lakh metric tonnes pulses have been distributed to 13.4 crore beneficiaries.
       

    • About 230 stranded Indians have left Bangladesh today morning for Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya through land ports.

      Out of these, a batch of 125 Indians left for Agartala from the Akhaura border of Bangladesh. High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das came to the border of Akhaura to see off the evacuees through the land route.

      Evacuees thanked Govt. of India and Indian high Commission in Dhaka.

      Speaking to Prasar Bharti special correspondent at Akhaura High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das said, with these evacuations, more than 1700 people have been evacuated so far from Bangladesh to India under the Vande Bharat Mission of government of India.

      The evacuation from Bangladesh started on 8th May. Flights from Dhaka have operated to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Srinagar.

    • As of today, there are active swarms of immature locust in Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jaipur districts of Rajasthan and Satna, Gwalior, Seedhi, Rajgarh, Baitul, Devas and Agar Malwa districts of Madhya Pradesh.

      At present 200 Locust Circle Offices are conducting survey and control operations in close coordination with District Administration and agriculture field machinery of the affected states.

      Gujarat government has stepped up its efforts to control locust swarm with spraying chemicals and other traditional methods. State is facing locust attack on crops mainly in north Gujarat districts. According to State Agriculture department, all precautionary measures are being taken to control locust attack in Banaskantha, Kutch and Jamnagar. Sources said that authorities are constantly monitoring the menace in all districts bordering Pakistan as well as Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. 

      Continuous action is being taken for effective control and prevention on locusts in Madhya Pradesh. Insecticides are being sprayed from fire brigades, tractors and other vehicles.

      Administration in many districts has been using blaring sirens to scare locusts away. Nearly 10 districts including Neemuch, Harda, Guna and Hoshangabad are suffering from a massive locust infestation that is threatening crops at a time of harvest. These 10 affected districts are major producers of mustard, cumin, wheat, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

      Talking to media persons, principal secretary, department of agriculture Ajeet Kesari said that swarms of desert locusts have entered mainly from two areas - Neemuch in the Malwa region and Sheopur in the Gwalior-Chambal region - both close to the Rajasthan border. 

    • The event usually draws more than 300,000 visitors, and dates back to the 15th century when Johannes Gutenberg introduced the mass printing of books in nearby Mainz.

      Organizers said they were able to persuade city authorities the fair could go ahead after outlining comprehensive sanitary measures to protect attendees against possible infection.

      It will take place from Oct. 14-18 at the central Frankfurt fairgrounds as usual, as well as at other locations in the city and virtually.

      Organizers said they expected participants from around Europe, and farther afield “depending on travel restrictions at the time”, and would provide further details on programming at the end of June.

      While the book fair is going ahead, Germany’s Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival and due to take place in Munich from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, has been cancelled.

    • High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das came to the border of Akhaura to see off the first batch of evacuees through the land route.

      Speaking to Prasar Bharti special correspondent at Akhaura High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das said that on Thursday 230 stranded Indian nationals will leave for Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya from the land ports in Bangladesh. She said till now before Thursday’s evacuation about 1500 people have been evacuated under the Vande Bharat Mission from Bangladesh.

      With these evacuations, till Thursday, more than 1700 people have been evacuated from Bangladesh to India under the Vande Bharat Mission of government of India to bring back Indians from abroad who have been stranded due to the outbreak of Corona pandemic and subsequent disruption of international travel.

      The evacuation from Bangladesh started on 8th May. Flights from Dhaka have operated to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Srinagar.

       

    • The 25,500-capacity ground was set to host a test match between England and West Indies in June before the tour was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The government gave elite sport the green light to return in June behind closed doors but the cricket season, which was suspended in March, will not return until July at the earliest.

      “The 25% capacity is something we’ve been looking at... It may end up having to be lower than that,” Gould said.

      “There is work ongoing but at a very gentle pace. One of the issues cricket has is we can only play in the summer. Therefore we’d like to understand possibilities of getting fans in later on in the summer. But we’re not going to do anything that doesn’t get full clearance. We’re not going to do anything other than follow government guidelines.”

      According to sources, England and Wales Cricket Board is looking at setting up ‘bio-secure’ venues at grounds with on-site hotels in Manchester and Southampton for Pakistan’s visit in August.

    • France counted 1,197 foreign investment projects last year, up 17% from 2018 and ahead of Britain with 1,109 projects (up 5%) and Germany with 971 (unchanged), according to a Survey done by consultants EY.

      Two thirds of business leaders surveyed by EY at the end of April expected to revise their French investment plans this year and 15% expected to push them back to 2021. None expected to cancel projects or increase them.

      President Emmanuel Macron has eased labour laws on hiring and firing, transformed a payroll tax credit scheme into a permanent business tax cut and set a flat 30% tax for investors as part of a drive to make the French economy more attractive internationally.

      A series of violent anti-government protests against his reforms in 2018 and 2019 and then weeks of transport strikes against a pension overhaul at the end of last year and early this year had little effect on foreign investors’ enthusiasm.

      Since the coronavirus outbreak, Macron’s government has refocused on containing the economic fallout and aims to boost the recovery by pushing French companies to relocate production activities in France.

    • Such moves could mark the opening salvoes of the U.S. response as President Donald Trump weighs how far he is prepared to go after the State Department’s assessment on Wednesday that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous enough from Beijing to deserve special treatment under U.S. law that helped make it a global financial hub.

      Internal U.S. deliberations, unfolding amid increased U.S.-China tensions over the coronavirus pandemic, are continuing and final decisions have yet to be made, as per sources.

      But they suggested that the severity of U.S. measures could depend, at least in part, on the extent to which China’s Communist Party rulers implement planned national security rules in the former British colony. Beijing says there is no threat to Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and that it would counter any foreign interference.

      David Stilwell, assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, said the long list of potential U.S. responses could be “across the spectrum,” including visa and economic sanctions.

      Another option under consideration would call for suspending Hong Kong’s preferential tariff rates for exports to the United States, according to sources. Such action could put Hong Kong’s goods under the same tariffs that Trump has slapped on exports from the Chinese mainland.

    • Piyush Goyal says Aatmanirbhar Bharat entails a confident, self-reliant and caring nation. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has said that the concept of Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign entails a confident, self-reliant, caring nation which takes care of all the strata of the society and nurtures development of all parts of the country.

      Union Minister Piyush Goyal said this at a meeting with the industry and trade associations through video conference. The Minister said, Aatamnirbhar Bharat campaign will inculcate the spirit of oneness among 130 crore citizens of the country and will support the Indian companies.

      He said, in the last three decades post-liberalization, the country progressed but the focus was city-centric. He said, the rural and backward areas remained deprived, forcing millions of people from there to migrate to cities for employment and opportunities. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal also said, the fight against the COVID-19 can not be undertaken by the government alone, it is the nation’s fight and all stakeholders have to play an important positive role.

    • It will be extended automatically through the system for three months without the need for the visa holder to visit the passport department in person. This will be done free of charge.

      Saudi Arabia has also announced lifting of restrictions in the coming days. Restrictions in place to control the spread of  coronavirus, including bans on domestic travel, holding prayers in mosques, and workplace attendance in both government and private sector are likely to be relaxed from today.  

      Some economic and commercial activities including opening of restaurants will also be allowed.

    • The death toll due to COVID-19 in the United States has crossed one lakh, the highest in any country across the world as the pandemic wreaks havoc by affecting lives and disrupting economic activity.

      One-third of the deaths have been reported in the world's financial capital New York and neighbouring areas Connecticut and New Jersey. The wave of deaths had a devastating impact on the US economy which has entered into recession with over 35 million losing their jobs in the last three months.

      "With the 100,000th recorded American death due to COVID-19, our nation marks a somber milestone. All across the country, families are mourning loved-ones lost to this disease," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

      "It is difficult to comprehend the scope of this tragedy, and each of these 100,000 Americans is a parent, grandparent, sibling, child, and valued community member," he added.

      As per the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 has impacted all age groups and communities in the country.

    • Railways Ministry said, a total of three thousand 543 Shramik Special trains have been operationalized from various states across the country in the last 26 days.

      Railways had started running Shramik Special trains from 1st May, to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lock down. 85 per cent of the expenditure of Shramik special trains is being borne by the Centre and states are paying 15 per cent in the form of fare.

      The top five States from where maximum trains originated are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. While the top five states where maximum trains terminated are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

      IRCTC has distributed more than 78 lakh free meals and more than one crore water bottles to travelling migrants. In addition to Shramik specials, Railways is running 15 pairs of special AC trains and has decided to run 200 more trains from 1st of June.

    • he maximum temperatures are likely to recede from Thursday in north India, which is reeling under a severe heatwave, the India Meteorological Department said.

      The temperatures north and central India have soared over 47 degrees Celsius at a few places since the past four-five days.

      The maximum temperature in Churu, which had recorded 50 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, was 49.6 degrees, followed by 48.9 degrees in Ganganagar and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan.

      Bathinda in Punjab recorded 47.5 degrees Celsius, while it was 47.2 degrees in Delhi.

      "Under the influence of a western disturbance and an east-west trough and likely occurrence of rain/thunderstorm from May 28-30, maximum temperatures over plains of north India likely to recede from May 28 onwards with substantial reduction of heat wave conditions from May 29," the IMD said.

      Western disturbance is a cyclonic circulation which originates in the Mediterranean Sea. Traversing central Asia, it brings rains to the hills and plains when it comes in contact with the Himalayas.

    • The earlier highest of  137 patients was recorded on Tuesday while 406 people have tested positive in last five days. Almost all of these cases are from foreign repatriations or navy personnel. Out of the total infections, 727 are active cases while 732 have recovered.

      Ten persons have died of the pandemic so far. No community case has been reported in Sri Lanka for over a month leading to curfew relaxation all over the country. The curfew is in place from 10 PM to 4 AM.

      The Ministry of Health has issued a comprehensive set of guidelines focused on the “new normal” with timelines on when most activities can resume. The document notes that bars, nightclubs,  zoo and museums will remain closed until further notice. Restrictions on social gatherings have also been mentioned including no more than 10 people at most social events.

    • In Assam, over 2.71 lakh people are reeling under the fury of floods in 11 districts. New areas have been inundated due to breach in river embankments and incessant rains. Several rivers are flowing above the danger level. Relief and rescue measures are being taken by the Administrations in the flood-hit areas. Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya has visited Kaziranga National Park to review the flood preparedness.  

      Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal  reviewed the flood situation in Guwahati with senior officials and instructed all concerned departments to provide all necessary help. Public Health Engineering Minister Rihon Daimari said that instruction has been given to provide safe drinking water in the flood-hit areas. He said that  utmost care to be taken to ensure hygiene and cleanliness at relief camps.  

      Over 16 thousand people are taking shelter at temporary relief camps at Goalpara, Nalbari and Tinsukia districts. Proper social distancing is being maintained in the relief camps.

    • There is a major relief to the students appearing for the pending Class 10th and 12th  examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education from 1st of July this year.

      Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has informed that students who have moved to another state or district during the lockdown can appear in these exams from their current district or state. He said that the students don't need to travel to their previous exam centres in order to appear in these examinations.

      The HRD Minister said that the students need to inform their schools regarding their choice of district for appearing in the Board exams. The schools will then coordinate with CBSE in order to arrange and inform about the new examination centre to the students. HRD Minister said that the government has been continuously working to make every arrangement for the students so that they can appear in the exams without any hassle.
       

    • The Fire Service officials of Dhaka informed that five bodies were recovered which included four males and one female, reported the official news agency BSS. The reason for the fire is being investigated.  

      According to police, the fire broke out in the Corona isolation unit of the United Hospital situated in the Gulshan area of Dhaka. United Hospital is a COVID-19 designated hospital.

      Further details are awaited.

    •  As of Wednesday, there are active swarms of immature locust in Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jaipur Districts in Rajasthan and Satna, Gwalior, Seedhi, Rajgarh, Baitul, Devas, Agar Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh.

      At present 200 Locust Circle Offices (LCO) are conducting survey & control operations in close coordination with District Administration and agriculture field machinery of the affected States. Locust control operations are in full swing in coordination with State Agriculture Departments and Local Administration. In Rajasthan 21 districts, in Madhya Pradesh 18 districts, in Punjab one district and in Gujarat 2 districts have undertaken Locust control till now. For effective control of locusts beyond Scheduled Desert Areas, temporary control camps have been established in Ajmer, Chittorgarh and Dausa in Rajasthan; Mandsaur, Ujjain and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.

      So far (till 26.05.2020), control operations against Locusts have been done in 47,308 hectare area in total 303 places in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh by LCOs in coordination with District Administration and State Agriculture Department. 89 fire brigades for pesticide spray; 120 survey vehicles; 47 control vehicles with spray equipments and 810 tractor mounted sprayers have been deployed for effective locust control, as per requirement during different days.

      Usually, the locust swarms enter the Scheduled Desert Area of India through Pakistan for summer breeding in the month of June/July with the advent of monsoon. This year, however the incursions of locust hoppers and pink swarms have been reported much earlier because of presence of residual population of Locusts in Pakistan which they couldn’t control last season. Since 11th April 2020, locust hoppers and from 30th April, 2020, the incursion of pink immature adults has been reported in bordering districts of Rajasthan and Punjab, which are being controlled. Pink immature adults fly high and cover long distances during day hours from one place to another along with the westerly winds coming from the Pakistan side. Most of these pink immature adults settle on the trees during night and mostly fly during day.

      Concerned over the early attack of locust swarms this year, the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar chaired a meeting with the pesticide manufacturers and all related stakeholders on 6th May, 2020 to review the preparedness for locust control in the affected States. Following directions of the Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar, a video conference was conducted under the chairmanship of Secretary (DAC&FW) Shri Sanjay Agarwal was conducted on 22nd May, 2020 with the District Administration and District Agriculture Officers of locust threatened districts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh along with the representatives of NDMA.  Locust awareness literature, SOPs, approved pesticides and awareness videos were shared with the States in the meeting. Earlier, a video Conference was held on 5th May, 2020 with the Principal Secretary (Agriculture) and DMs of the locust prone districts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab under the chairmanship of Secretary, DAC&FW to review the preparedness and further coordination with the locust States for taking necessary action.

      On 11th March, 2020 a High- Level virtual meeting on Desert Locust in South-West Asian countries was held at the office of the FAO representative in India. Representatives of four member countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan) and the Plant Protection Division of FAO, Rome also participated in the meeting. The MoS (Agriculture & FW) Shri Kailash Choudhury and Secretary DAC&FW attended the meeting. It was decided to hold the virtual meetings of technical officers of member countries every Monday via Skype and nine meetings have so far been held. Advisories have been issued to the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab regarding the locust attack and necessary measures to be taken for effective control and pesticides that are to be used for effective Locust control in the cropped area.

      Currently Locust Control Offices have 21 Micronair and 26 Ulvamast (47 spray equipments) which are being utilized for locust control. On approval of the Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar, supply order for additional 60 sprayers has been placed to M/s. Micron, United Kingdom. e-Tender has been invited for the empanelling agencies to provide services of drones for aerial spraying of insecticides for effective control over tall trees and inaccessible areas. Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved “Conditional exemption to Government entity (DPPQS) for use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System for anti-locust operations” on 21st May, 2020 and in accordance with this order, two firms have been finalized through tender for use of the drones for spray of pesticides for Locust control.

      Meanwhile, supply order for procurement of additional 55 vehicles has been placed to strengthen the control potential. Adequate stock of Pesticide is being maintained (53,000 litres Malathion) with Locust Control Organizations. Under Sub-mission on Agriculture Mechanization, assistance for 800 tractors mounted spray equipments has been sanctioned for Rajasthan costing Rs. 2.86 crores. Also, under RKVY sanction for hiring of vehicles, tractors and for purchase of pesticides has been issued for Rajasthan worth Rs. 14 crores. Under RKVY sanction for purchase of vehicles, spray equipments, safety uniform, android application and training has also been issued for Gujarat at a cost of Rs. 1.80 crores.

      As per FAO’s Locust Status Update of 21st May, 2020, the current situation remains extremely alarming in East Africa where it is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods. New swarms will migrate to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border as well as to Sudan and West Africa. As vegetation dries out, more groups and swarms will form and move from these areas to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border. Good rains are predicted during the first half of June along the Indo-Pakistan border that would allow egg-laying to occur.

      During 2019-20, India witnessed a massive locust attack which was successfully controlled. Starting from 21st May, 2019 till 17th February 2020, a total of 4,03,488 ha area was treated and locust was controlled. Along with this, the State Agriculture Department of Rajasthan and Gujarat coordinated Locust control in cropped areas of the State. During 2019-20, Control operations were done in 3,93,933 ha area of  11 districts of Rajasthan; 9,505 ha area in 2 districts of Gujarat and 50 ha area in 1 district of Punjab. Senior Locust Forecasting Officer of FAO who visited India on 16-17 January 2019 also appreciated the efforts of India in Locust control.

      Everyday Locust Control Organizations and District Authorities and State Agriculture Department officials with control spray vehicles of LCOs, tractor mounted with sprayers and fire tenders, are undertaking Locust control operations in early morning hours. The immature locust is very active and their mobility makes it difficult to control the swarm at one location and it takes 4 to 5 days of control at different locations to control a particular locust swarm.

      Locust is an omnivorous and migratory pest and has the ability to fly hundreds of kilometers collectively. It is a trans-border pest and attacks the crop in large swarm. Found in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, they inhabit some 60 countries and can cover one-fifth of Earth's land surface. Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world's human population. Swarms of locusts in the desert come to India from Africa/ Gulf/ South West Asia during the summer monsoon season and go back towards Iran, Gulf & African countries for spring breeding.

      In India more than 2 lakh square kilometers area comes under Scheduled Desert Area. Locust Warning Organization and 10 Locust Circle Offices (LCO) of Government of India are situated in Rajasthan (Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Phalodi, Barmer, Jalore, Churu, Nagaur, Suratgarh) and Gujarat (Palanpur and Bhuj) are responsible for monitoring, survey and control of Desert Locust in Scheduled Desert Area in coordination with State Governments.

    • On 26.05.2020, 255 Shramik Specials were originated. Till now, around 48 lacs migrants have been transported through Shramik Special Trains in 26 days.

      These 3543 trains were originated from various states. The top five States/UTs from where maximum trains originated are Gujarat(946 Trains), Maharashtra(677 Trains), Punjab(377Trains), Uttar Pradesh (243 Trains) and Bihar (215 Trains).

      These “Shramik Special” Trains were terminated in various States across the country. The top five states where maximum trains terminated are Uttar Pradesh(1392 Trains), Bihar(1123 Trains), Jharkhand(156 Trains), Madhya Pradesh(119 Trains), Odisha (123 Trains).

      IRCTC distributed more than 78 lakh free meals and more than 1.10 crore water bottles to travelling migrants.

      It may be noted that trains running today are not facing any congestion.

      In addition to Shramik specials, Railways are running 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi and plans to start 200 more time tabled trains on 1st June.

    • Prime Minister recalled Rajapaska’s contributions to the development of Sri Lanka in his long political career, and wished him all the best for his future.

      Prime Minister also conveyed his condolences at the sudden and untimely demise of Arumugan Thondaman, a prominent leader of the Indian-Origin Tamils in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister recalled the role that Thondaman had played in taking forward the development partnership between India and Sri Lanka.

      The leaders discussed the health and economic impact of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the measures being taken in the two countries to counter them. Prime Minister Modi assured Rajapaksa that India stands ready to extend all possible support to Sri Lanka during this challenging time.

    • Those tested positive Navy were undergoing quarantine at different facilities.

      The country has witnessed the highest daily number of 137 virus cases on Tuesday. Out of those cases, 127 were returnees from Kuwait who while 10 of them were Navy personnel, all under quarantine.

      No community case has been reported in Sri Lanka for over a month leading to curfew relaxation all over the country. The curfew is in place from 10 PM to 4 AM.

      In the meantime, the COVID recoveries reported reached 732 on Wednesday, while the number of active cases who are under medical care stands at 711. Ten persons have died of the pandemic so far.

    • Enhanced focus on healthcare has become imperative and our government is committed to provide world class healthcare to all citizens, he said.

      While speaking to media Dr Sudhakar said that Covid-19 experience has demonstrated the necessity of having robust, real-time public health data and therefore, there is a need to maintain repository of health data of each and every citizen. He said that Government will be undertaking a survey of all 6.5 Crore people in the state using a team of Primary Health Centre officials, revenue officials, Education department staff and ASHA karyakartas.

      They will visit each household and collect health data of all the members of the family. This will not only help the government to provide better health care, but will also help efficient resource allocation, management and better implementation of various citizen centric schemes in the state, the Minister added.

      Public-Private Partnership: It’s our vision to provide world-class health care to all citizens in the state and we need accurate data to make our vision a reality. The Health register is a futuristic project which is taken up in the interest of the people. The project will include 50% partnership of private hospitals. The data collected will help us to prioritise healthcare based on geography, demography and other targeted measures.

      Our Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa has assured all support for the project and a detailed discussion will be undertaken in the upcoming cabinet meeting, said Dr.Sudhakar. The Minister also assured that he is committed to ensure that all citizens of the state have access to world class healthcare.

    • The agenda included the election of next President of NDB, appointment of Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer and membership expansion.

      In her opening remarks, the Finance Minister commended the contribution of NDB in funding the infrastructure development, which has positively impacted the development agenda of the member countries, including India. Within a short span of time, NDB has approved 55 projects of member countries for an amount of $16.6 billion, which is quite a remarkable achievement. Smt. Sitharaman also mentioned that the Bank has successfully created a niche for itself and proudly stands shoulder to shoulder with the peer MDBs.

      The Finance Minister appreciated Mr. K. V Kamath, the outgoing President of NDB for his stellar stewardship in very quickly giving shape to the vision stated by the BRICS Leaders in 2014. The swift response to COVID-19 through launch of the COVID-19 Emergency Programme Loan product will be remembered as one of his contributions.

      Finance Minister congratulated newly-elected President Mr. Marcos Troyjo from Brazil and newly-appointed Vice President and CRO, Mr Anil Kishora from India. While congratulating them, Smt. Sitharaman remarked that she has great expectations from new leadership in continuing this momentum forward and taking NDB to the next level in terms of lending performance to members, transparency, international credibility and effectively achieving the NDB mandate. She suggested that, the focus should also be given to achieve the twin objective of preserving BRICS values and growing NDB into a global development institution.

    • There is a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases in Nepal and in last one week more than 450 persons diagnosed with Corona virus.

      According to the Ministry of Health and Population total number of COVID-19 cases has spiked to 886.

      Meanwhile, 28 persons cured and discharged from various hospitals on Wednesday.

      There are now 699 active cases, while 183 people have been recovered.

      Four persons have died of COVID-19 so far.

      47 districts of seven provinces have reported corona virus infection so far. Province 2 and Province 5 are the most affected by the COVID-19. Province 5 reported maximum 365 positive cases and Province 2 confirmed 324 cases till date.

    • Lockdown has garnered multiple gains, and primarily among them is that it has decelerated the pace of spread of the disease. According to the estimates made by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, a large number of deaths and cases have been averted.  At the same time, during the lockdown period development of COVID-19 specific health infrastructure; capacity development of human resource through online training modules and webinars; increased testing capacity; increase in supplies, equipment, oxygen; issuing of relevant guidelines, standards prepared, circulated, adopted, practiced; development of diagnostics, drug trials, vaccine research; and on the technical side surveillance systems strengthened with more contact tracing, house to house surveys along with tools like Aarogya Setu was achieved.

      Health infrastructure required for COVID-19 management was ramped up during the lockdown. As of 27th May 2020, 930 dedicated COVID hospitals with 1,58,747 Isolation beds, 20,355 ICU beds and 69,076 Oxygen supported beds are available. 2,362 dedicated COVID Health Centres with 1,32,593 Isolation beds; 10,903 ICU beds and 45,562 Oxygen supported beds have been operationalised. 10,341 quarantine centres and 7,195 COVID Care Centres with 6,52,830 beds are now available to combat COVID-19 in the country. The Centre has also provided 113.58 lakh N95 masks and 89.84 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the States/ UTs / Central Institutions. The testing capacity has increased in the country through 435 Government laboratories and 189 private laboratories (total of 624 labs). Cumulatively, 32,42,160 samples have been tested so far for COVID-19, whereas, 1,16,041 samples were tested on Tuesday.

      A total of 1,51,767 cases have been reported from the country in which 64,426 persons have been cured and the recovery rate is pegged at 42.4%. The fatality rate is 2.86% whereas the world average is 6.36%.

      Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a Guidance Note on Provision of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health + Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services during & post COVID-19 Pandemic. Details can be accessed at:

      https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/GuidanceNoteonProvisionofessentialRMNCAHNServices24052020.pdf

      The Ministry has also issued an Advisory on Re-processing and Re-use of Eye-protection – Goggles. Details can be accessed at:

      https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Advisoryonreprocessingandreuseofeyeprotectiongoggles.pdf

      For all authentic & updated information on COVID-19 related technical issues, guidelines & advisories please regularly visit: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/ and @MoHFW_INDIA .

      Technical queries related to COVID-19 may be sent to technicalquery.covid19@gov.in and other queries on ncov2019@gov.in and @CovidIndiaSeva.

      In case of any queries on COVID-19, please call at Ministry of Health & Family Welfare helpline no.: +91-11-23978046 or 1075 (Toll-free). List of helpline numbers of States/UTs on COVID-19 is also available at https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/coronvavirushelplinenumber.pdf .

    • NCOE Patiala currently has weightlifters, including those bound for Tokyo 2021 Olympics, and eminent athletes from Athletics, many of who have already won an Olympic quota. NCOE Bengaluru has members of the senior men’s and women’s hockey team along with theeminent athletes of athletics. Both the hockey teams have qualified for the Olympics.

      In keeping with the government guidelines, all necessary safety measures of hygiene and social distancing are being maintained by athletes on the field of play. Equipments are being self-sanitised by athletes after use and no two athletes are allowed to use the same equipment during the sports activity.

      In Patiala and Bengaluru athletes have been given a staggered schedule for participation in sporting activities, to ensure social distancing norms. Sanitisations of hands, shoes and kits are being followed at both centers.

    • The exercise is being carried out under the Vande Bharat Mission of Government of India to evacuate the Indian nationals from all over the world who are stranded in various countries due to the Corona pandemic and subsequent disruption of international travel.

      With this round of evacuation from Bangladesh, till May 27, more than 1,470 Indian nationals have been evacuated from Bangladesh to India.

      The evacuation from Bangladesh started on 8th May. Since then, flights from Dhaka have operated to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Srinagar.

      A few more evacuation exercises including a flight from Dhaka and evacuation from the land border of Bangladesh for North Eastern states is scheduled to take place over the next few days.

    • According to the Met Department, the nor’wester was blowing at a wind0-speed of 78 kilometres per hour (Kmph) in Dhaka rising to 83 kmph at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

      The Met office recorded 63mm rain in the last 24 hours. In its forecast for the day, the Met department predicted rain/ thunder shower accompanied by occasional gusty wind in Dhaka and adjoining areas.

      The Met department has also predicted moderate rain/thunder shower accompanied by gusty wind at many places over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions.

      According to media reports, four people were killed in incidents related to storm and rain in Joypurhat district of Bangladesh last night. Strong wind and rain also damaged large number of houses in the area.

      Earlier, on Tuesday the Met department had advised the maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox’x Bazar, Mongla and Payra to hoist local cautionary signal number three as steep pressure gradient had formed over the North Bay. The fishing boats and trawlers were advised to keep close to the coast in view of the wind driver surge in the sea.

      The Cyclone Amphan had devastated Coastal districts of Bangladesh on Wednesday last with wind speed of up to 180kph and over 10 feet tidal surges. It caused severe damage to roads, embankments, standing crops, fisheries in the Coastal areas of the country.

    • The story concerns rumours of a fierce child-eating monster with extraordinary powers which lives in the northern tip of an imaginary land known as Cornucopia.

      Further chapters will be published every weekday until July 10, Rowling said on Twitter, adding in capitals: “THIS IS NOT A HARRY POTTER SPIN-OFF”.

      Rowling got the idea for The Ickabog when she was writing Harry Potter and she intended it to be published after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, the last of her seven-book Potter series.

      But the mostly handwritten manuscript ended up in her attic and stayed there for a decade until a few weeks ago. She has rewritten parts of it in recent weeks.

      “The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power,” said Rowling, 54. “The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country.”

      “I’ve decided to publish The Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them,” Rowling said.

      She will donate her royalties to projects and organisations helping the groups most impacted by COVID-19.

    • California-based SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and its Falcon 9 rocket is due to lift off at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) on Wednesday from the same launch pad used by NASA’s last space shuttle mission in 2011.

      For Musk, SpaceX and NASA, a safe flight would mark a milestone in the quest to produce reusable spacecraft that can make space travel more affordable. Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Inc.

      NASA, hoping to stimulate a commercial space marketplace, awarded $3.1 billion to SpaceX and $4.5 billion to Boeing Co to develop dueling space capsules, experimenting with a contract model that allows the space agency to buy astronaut seats from the two companies. 

      Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule is not expected to launch its first crew until 2021.

      NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine declared the mission a “go” last week at Kennedy Space Center after space agency and SpaceX officials convened for final engineering checks.

      SpaceX successfully tested Crew Dragon without astronauts last year in its first orbital mission to the space station. That vehicle was destroyed the following month during a ground test when one of the valves for its abort system burst, causing an explosion that triggered a nine-month engineering investigation that ended in January.

    • A star-formation binge in the Milky Way spanning the time when the solar system was born more than 4.5 billion years ago was apparently precipitated by the collision between our galaxy and a smaller one called Sagittarius, scientists said on Tuesday.

      Such collisions typically do not involve stars smashing head-on, they said, but can foster conditions for star formation by, for example, amping up the amount of gas in a galaxy or having gas clouds come together.

      The galaxies first crashed more than 6 billion years ago. Since then, Sagittarius - a “dwarf” galaxy 10,000 times less massive than the Milky Way - has twice passed through our galaxy’s immense disk containing most of its roughly 100 billion stars. All three galactic interactions were associated with a burst of Milky Way star formation.

      Data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia space observatory revealed a prolonged star-formation episode from 6.2 billion to 4.2 billion years ago associated with the initial crash. Two other star-formation surges linked to the galactic collision peaked 1.9 billion years ago and 1 billion years ago, each lasting a few hundred million years.

      “It is not really an impact like a car crash,” said astronomer Tomás Ruiz-Lara of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in Spain, lead author of the research published in the journal Nature Astronomy. “Some parts of Sagittarius and the Milky Way intersect, but stars do not crash. A star-star collision would be really, really rare.”

      The collision disrupted our galaxy’s steady pace of star formation.

    • U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Tuesday he is preparing to take action against China this week over its effort to impose national security laws on Hong Kong, but gave no further details.

      Hong Kong shares led declines among major regional indexes, with Hang Seng falling 0.46%, though it kept a bit of distance from a two-month low touched on Monday. MSCI's ex-Japan Asia-Pacific index .MIAPJ0000PUS lost 0.12%, with mainland Chinese shares .CSI300 down a similar amount. Japan's Nikkei N225 was almost flat.

      Worsening relations between the world’s two biggest economies could further hobble global business activity, which is already under intense pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

      E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 rose 0.4%, reclaiming the 3,000 chart level. The index had cleared 3,000 points in Wall Street overnight before pulling back, as some traders returned to the New York Stock Exchange floor for the first time in two months.

      “The S&P 500 looked to be set to close above 3,000 until the late headline that the United States was considering a range of sanctions on Chinese officials and businesses should China go ahead with its legislation regarding Hong Kong,” analysts at the National Australia Bank said in a note.

      “The extent of those possible sanctions is uncertain,” the analysts said. China’s plans to impose national security laws in Hong Kong have triggered the first big street unrest in the Asian financial hub since last year.

    • Google and its peer Facebook Inc had allowed their employees to work from home in early March following tough government-mandated restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

      Google said on Tuesday it would give each employee an allowance of $1,000, or the equivalent value in their country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture, as it expects most of them to largely work from home for the remainder of the year.

      There are a limited number of employees whose roles are needed back in the office this year and they would return on a limited, rotating basis, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.